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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.
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