Do it! Do it! Then remember the old pain.

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hi all, I'm a 63 year old ex Firefighter from England and up to 2 years ago used to walk 8 mile countryside circuits 3 to 4 times a week with no pain. My arthritis seemed to come on very quickly.

As some of you may know from other discussions, I had my left TKR in November then my right one 8 weeks later in January. I was walking normally after two weeks with the first but not very far and the stairs coming down were somewhat painful still. However from that day I felt improvement and on looking back each weekit was measurable.

The second one seemed to lag behind the first one and I reached the two week stage after four weeks but much the same good improvement. I consider myself to be very lucky when I read some of the comments on the forum.

My reason for this post is to try and reassure those who see no end.

If, as me , you suffered from arthritic pain before the operation then just remember the pain you were in before. Even with the operation 'afterpain' I considered it to be preferable than the pain I was enduring before. It was nice to know that the original pain was totally gone.

A few tips that seemed to work for me.

1. I found the best stretching exercise was the simplest - stand at the stairs with your bad leg on the second step and bend until you feel the stretch and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat this 10 times. Do this everytime you pass the stairs.

2. Walk- But walk correctly. Heel down and roll completely through to ball of foot. It's important. Walk slowly and concentrate on doing it correctly. You'll know when you are. It's not a race.

3. Nip to the chemist and buy some cocoa butter WITH vitamin lotion. This is readily available and recommended for pregnant women to reduce chance of stretch marks. If it makes your skin that supple then it's exactly what you need to heavy massage your knee and calf. It's worked for me! Use your finger ends and really push into all the swollen area including the scar when you feel it is healed sufficiently. This breaks up the fat and fluid as well as opens your muscles.

4. Keep taking your meds, don't let it out of your system enough to feel pain. Remember you've been butchered and you'll need them for a long time to come. I found that setting my phone alarm for midnight, 7 am, 12 pm lunch then 6 pm evening works for my routine. Whilst in hospital I was on 2 x 30mg of codeine and 2 x 500mg of paracetamol four times a day. Plus the morphine. On leaving hospital the morphine stopped. After a few weeks I dropped to half that amount but periodically feel that I need to double up again if I've done too much but as soon as possible drop down again. You NEED your meds, so use them.

5. If you have done any excess exercise then put a frozen bag of peas on your knee for 15 minutes then under your knee for 15 minutes. Move it about so that it cools all the effected area.

Someone says that this forum is really only for those who are having problems with their knee. I don't disagree, but will clarify that EVERYONE who has had a TKR has a problem, even me. IT HURTS but it will get better and think on all those who are at 12 weeks and more - remember what it was like last week and the week before. You are improving and not everyone is the same so don't worry.

Finally, I'm sorry for the length of this but all I've done before is answered others posts and unless you are following a particular one you may have missed it. My email box seems to be overful of comments and it's time for me to unfollow now. I wish everyone success on their recovery.

7 likes, 8 replies

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    That should have said Cocoa butter with vitamin 'E' !
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  • Posted

    I agree with you on what you said about handling the pain.  As I tell those who want to comment on have pain with surgery "Surgery pain is short term, but this is going on too long.  Glad yours is doing good.  I am having my replacement replaced in May.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for this post. It is really helpful to hear of your positive attitude and the success of your ops. It is good to hear from someone that has such a good improvement, post op, and the advice is great. I'm sure a lot of people will find it really informative. I am still on the long road to recovery after a disappointing result from my partial knee replacement and I am now waiting for another athroscopy which could lead to a full knee replacement. If this is the case I will certainly be reading your post again.x
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    • Posted

      Thanks for that Susan & Lynda.

      I put it on because the forum does seem to have a lot of doom and gloom which is understandable. When i went to my consultant surgeon after i'd had the xrays he said that I was showing 'mild' arthritis in the knees. When I said i couldnt understand why I had so much pain he said "we treat the patient not the xray". He went through the alternatives and as soon as he mentioned flushing out etc I said I didn't want to mess about with that as I'd heard unfavourable reports. He was fantastic and said "fine" so we went straight for the TKR.

      I had the epidural at my request and immediately he told me that the knee was far worse than the xray showed and that it was nice to know that he had done the right thing for me. So again I was lucky to get the surgeon I did. Sorry you haven't had as much luck but it goes to show I was right in going for the extreme after all. You can only ask!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for all the info! Glad you are progressing well - it gives encouragement to those like me who have this ahead of them. Like you my X-rays showed bad arthritis in the knee cap (difficulty with stairs and slopes particularly) but only moderate in the rest of the knee. After a recent MRI scan it showed the knee is quite bad and needing replacement when I want. At the moment walking on the flat is not a problem so I intend to leave it and my consultant is seeing me in three months. He suggested another arthroscopy (had one eight years ago) but said it wouldn't improve my areas of difficulty so I said no. I was pleased that the MRI showed the extent of the problem. I am from Ormskirk Lancashire and am being treated under NHS Choices with the hospital and surgeon I chose - Fairfield Hospital in Crank under Professor Raut - and want to keep that combination! Do you mind me asking where you are from and if your operation was NHS? 

      Good luck with your continued improvement.

      kind regards,

      Gill 

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    • Posted

      Hi Gill,

      I went to see the consultant at a private hospital in Humberside on the NHS at the end of october. He said he would do the worst knee first and that would be January this year. As I hold private health insurance I felt I should use it if it would speed things up hence, in November I had it done. My original January appointment on the NHS was then left for my second knee if I wanted it. Obviously I did and had it done. I had no hesitation in doing so and am glad I did. I can only say go for it and ask him to put you in for the TKR asap.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for taking the time to write such an informative post! You covered many really important points.

    It IS very helpful to everyone to hear all sides of the possible outcomes of this surgery and to discover the ways it can improve life of a person who has lived a long time with pain.

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  • Posted

    Wonderful post!  I just had a PKR 8 weeks ago and I was to reintrate everything you said!  Thanks for the post!
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