Anyone have any ideas?

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14 weeks ago I had a right knee total replacement. My recovery has been remarkable. Other than waking with stiffness, and having my knee swell after P.T. I am well on my way to totally believing I did the right thing getting this done. Now, here is my issue. Last week I took my grandsons to Sea World. On Tuesday I walked around about 5 hours when my knee became so stiff I almost couldn't walk. I feared I was going to be unable to drive home. The pain however is NOT near my knee. It's in my left frontal area below the right knee, the area right before it turns into the calf muscle. I made it home, applied ice and took it easy with my leg elevated that evening. Upon waking the next day, it was still swollen and painful so I took it easy. On Thursdsy, I did the same trip again with the other grsndson with about the same hours walking. Once again, my leg became swollen, painful and really stiff. Here it is Sunday evening and it still looks like someone pumped up my leg. It's really not pain, except if I touch certain areas, but very uncomfortable. I was worried about a blood clot, )however, it's not red or warm to the touch. Has anyone else experienced something like this so far post surgery? I have therapy tomorrow and am dreading it due to how stiff it is and hard to walk. Thoughts????

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  • Posted

    Blood clot would be a hot deep burning in a more isolated area. I think you just abused the leg. Its not ready for the activity level that you are trying to put it through. Once again, Dr's will tell you it takes close to a year to own the hardware and you are trying to reduce that to less than. 3 months. Rest elevate and really hydrate the system. My guess is you didn't drink much water before or during all to add walking. Somehow/Someway the body will let you know when it's had enough and needs to rest andd be taken care of properly.

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    • Posted

      I had plenty of hydration that day. It was almost 100 degrees there so we had water bottles attached to out backpacks and refilled then all the time.

      My problem is I'm trapped in a 64 year old body with a brain that thinks in 25! I have to keep telling myself, " Slow down old girl and smell the roses" Thanks for taking the time to reply

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    • Posted

      I 15 yrs ahead of you on the age side so I know the feeling......you just don't want to admit she is showing its negative side. I turn 80 in Feb and I'm just going to tear that month off the calendar so I don't have to face facts.

      However, my wife who turns 79 in a couple of weeks is in advanced stages of Parkinson's disease and ilook at her and see someone who has both mental and physical reasons to be slowing down and I see the same state of affairs. Its just human nature and and hard to fight. Better than just quitting and vegitating

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    • Posted

      I too am a February baby, the 22nd, just like George Washington!

      I went to physical therapy today and they sent me to the emergancy room. I've had an ultrasound and waiting on my results now.

      Getting old SUCKS but the alternative I'll leave for about 30 more years!

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  • Posted

    Grammie, this sounds like my exact problem. I was roughly 9 months post op and I was starting to walk a lot more - I'd gotten myself a Fitbit and was able to track my steps. I had both knees replaced the same day when I was in India and I was finally back in the cooler Pacific Northwest region of the US. But one knee was swelling up so much. I finally found a doctor who would treat someone that wasn't his patient. He quickly realized that my knee cap was not in great shape. Apparently a TKR doesn't include a new knee cap. So now, if I walk too much, I automatically put ice on it and elevate it when I get home. If you hear something different, please let me know.

    -Mo

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    • Posted

      No.

      Dr's I have talked to say you are far better off with your own kneecap unless it's completely eaten up. They have left mine in all three times I've gone through the tkr process and the synovectomy.

      Where in the Pacific N.W. are you?

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    • Posted

      Interesting. The surgeon I had in India told me he'd put in new knee caps too. So when I went in for a 1 year check-up with a different surgeon in the USA (complaining about some swelling and wanting his opinion on the work that was done), he told me the TKR was good, but my right knee cap wasn't looking so good. I was shocked and asked him to repeat that, explaining that I had new caps too. He told me I didn't, but that it's now becoming more common to replace them at the same time because more often than not, within 10 years of the TKR, most people need to have them replaced. In the meantime, I needed to avoid stairs and walking up and down hills. I was discouraged on two levels. That I was lied to by the surgeon in India and that this pain in my right knee isn't going to go away and the ability to avoid stairs isn't always possible. Oh well. I am still better off than I was two years ago.

      This was in the Seattle area. I am now in Las Vegas, headed back to India.

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  • Posted

    Straight walking on a level is fine but you were with a child so you would have been twisting your knee sideways as you turned. This was putting a new pressure onto your knee. Sideways movement without pain does come but I think you have pushed it. You did the right thing with ice and rest. 

    With a blood clot,deep vein thrombosis (DVT) a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs. The signs and symptoms of a DVT include: Swelling, usually in one leg, leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp and you may have felt a lump behind the knee or in the groin. This is an emergancy and must be seen to immediately. 

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  • Posted

    Our bodies are wonderful at adapting when things are wrong, so believe it or not the area you describe had become so adept to an abnormal gait before you got your knee fixed, that now walking normal is causing pain.  I too am finding it hard to limit myself on activities, after all isn't this why we got it fixed (so we could enjoy a day at Sea World). You may also think about your footwear if it has been a long time since a new pair of shoes.

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    • Posted

      Shoes are not the problem. However, even though I walk All The Time, those two days at Sea World it was constant walking for hours at a time plus at times fast walking etc. I really think it was just too much too soon. My recovery has been so quick that I've pushed myself hard. I'm having spinal surgery, a major surgery, metal rod inserted from the base of my skull into my hip that they needed my knee to be secure so I don't fall while recovering, which will be a full year at least. Hope I haven't set myself back. I see that doctor later today.

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  • Posted

     Sounds to me like you've been on your legs too long it's still early days I was standing about for about one hour last weekend I'm 10 weeks post operation at the moment and my legs swelled terrible I'm still using ice daily and elevating take it easy and don't rush it good luck 

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  • Posted

    Grammie52,  Too much walking too fast.  I understand the feeling so much better and then overdoing it....I am a Master at that.  Your muscles are not ready.  Look at your leg and listen to it.....elevate and ice.  I have done the same thing several times.  Then I had to rest...elevate and ice....then I would get stiff all over again.  Slow your roll Grammie....give it time.

    i am 5 months post op now and still have to rest after long intervals of being on my feet.  I have strange places that I swell what looks like a balloon sometimes under the skin....is very uncomfortable....only elevation and rest helped.

    pam

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  • Posted

    Hi Grammie .. definitely sounds like you are way over doing it at only 14wks post surgery.  I was doing really fine on my own had no rehab or physio and was coping well on my own.  But in the end after 6mths I had well and truly overdone alot and now for the last 3.5mths have been suffering with a painful bursitis which I caused.  Make sure that you ice and elevate to help ease the swelling.  At 14wks I was still using a wedge in bed to help with swelling... wishing you all the best ... Cheers Tracey
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  • Posted

    I was 7 weeks out when I walked around a mall with my daughter and put 8,000 steps on my FitBit.  I paid for that mistake for days and days and days........  

    Everyone's different but we all have one thing in common: Push the knee too far and you end up with swelling and pain.  Period.  

    Like a baseball manager pulling a starting pitcher out of the game after he's thrown his maximum pitches allowed, maybe get a pedometer so you can see how many steps you can take before the pain and swelling start.  Then you'll know your CURRENT limit, stop when you've reached it and then increase gradually.  Just a suggestion.

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    • Posted

      You can bet I'm watching my FitBit every time I go out and there's walking involved.  Also, places like SeaWorld, Waly Disney, etc. have free wheelchairs.  Until I know that I can go a whole day at a place like that without 3 days of pain, I'd do my maximum steps and then sit down.  Why else have kids and grandkids?  That's why they were born!!!

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    • Posted

      That's a good point Chico. I was striving for the 10,000 steps last year around this time when I was having all the additional swelling (not to mention planter faciitus started - something I still haven't gotten rid of). I dropped it down to 5,000 for a goal. But the other day when I was hiking I put in about 14,000 - way too much and thus swelling, 22 months post op.

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    • Posted

      My daughter is a graduate nutritionist plus an ACSM- and ACE-certified personal trainer for the past 16 years.  SHE does 15,000 steps a day...then again, she's not human.  Breezes through P90X without breaking a sweat...even after surviving breast cancer at age 38.  Can you ever do that much in a day?  who knows...but I would start small and work my way up.  Remember, your knee will ALWAYS tell you if you did too much.  You also may want to check out the exercise section of my BIG post...

      http://patient.info/forums/discuss/the-tkr-experience-or-wish-i-had-another-kidney-stone--524499

      Hope it helps.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Chico, I'm 22 months post op from the bilateral TKR. I have the FitBit Charge HR, which I love. I join up challenges to help me move and have friends who top 20,000 a day. I don't even try to compete with it, but love that it holds me more accountable to get in my 5K. I figure once I'm consistantly getting that I will bump it up. Right now my work is pretty seditary and I don't have to move a lot. I'm always amazed at how many steps I can get in on a busier day of running around.

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    • Posted

      My problem is that Kate has a link to my FitBit so you can bet that I get called out REGULARLY about my steps.  She's lightened up since the knee op but I'm sure it will start up again soon.  I've found that under 5K steps does not get me into trouble.  Will be increasing that soon.  Then I have to look forward to the other knee...puleeeeeeeze not soon!!!!!

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