Finally lifted leg!

Posted , 7 users are following.

Thank you to everyone for their words of encouragement and as you have all said I finally lifted my leg today after 7 weeks. It just happened when I was trying  and I am over the moon. Very strange as I really tried every day. Problem is my leg has now become really swollen and stiff. Can hardly bend it. I am elevating and using ice but little impact. Do I still do physio or hold off? I really need to work on bend and straighten as not good. I am seeing consultant on Monday and want to avoid MUA. Any suggestions? 

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  • Posted

    PT...PT...PT!!!!!!  Gotta get that scar tissue broken down...
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    • Posted

      I don't know of any other way of breaking down the scar tissue except through PT or an MUA.  Yes, the PT is right out of The Inquisition (I swore my therapist wore a dungeon master's cowl and had an Iron Maiden covered up with a sheet in the corner...), is extremely painful (some people take meds an hour before a session but then can't drive there), and is full of successes, setbacks and plateaus.  I went from -14 / +84 in 10 weeks @ 2x/week to -1 / +123.  I got stuck at -4 for weeks...frustrating.  But I did a lot of heel slides and squats at home too.

      With the MUA, you're unconscious and the docs get out some scar tissue and attempt to give you better ROM.  The downside is that you're now dealing with another operation, open incision and post-op pain.  Personally, I'd work like hell to avoid that.  MUA is a last resort.

      No way you'll get your ROM back by doing nothing but rest, ice and elevation.  Not a chance.  This takes physical manipulation by a PT to break down the scar tissue so you can walk again without a cane or a limp.  Even the people who have reported great ROM numbers within a month of surgery still did the work to get it.  Maybe there's even that one in a million patients whose DNA does not allow scar tissue to form.  Who knows?  For the rest of us, it's hard and painful work...but worth it.

      They lay you on your back, put your heel up on a block of wood and push down on your knee.  Fun, right?  Remember the chest-waxing scene from The Forty-Year-Old Virgin with Steve Carrell yelling "Kelly Clarkson!!!.....Richard Nixon!!!"?  Yeah, something like that.  Then they lay you on your stomach with your knees just on the edge of the table.  That's it...just let the knee hang...and hang...and hang.  Gravity may be a law but this is a b**ch!!!  For fun, they'll add a 2-pound ankle weight to the bad leg.  Weeping and gnashing of teeth...biblical-level pain.

      But it's what must be done to give you your life back!!!!!!!!

      I'm at 14+ months and most of the time I don't even know the knee is fake.  I have to be very conscious of it nonetheless.  The only way to get "here" is to go through "there".

      Good luck...there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it's NOT an oncoming train...

      "You gotta go through hell before you get to heaven." - Steve Miller, Jet Airliner

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  • Posted

    fantastic! I remember the day that happened to me! Give it a rest, maybe just some gentle stretching. And a pat on the back! It's still five weeks away from 12 weeks. A lot can happen in that time. It must be hard not to panic, but your knee has its own timing agenda!

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  • Posted

    You have two totally different opinions now! 😀 that's life!

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    • Posted

      That's very true! My happy breakthrough recently, at 12 weeks is all of a sudden my walking has improved. It's fantastic! I did have slow to activate quads and they appear to now be fully awoken! I think my pool exercises have most likely had a key impact on this..,walking backwards and forwards in swimming pool with floats on ankles, and other exercises in the pool. PT recommended using floats to increase resistance. All the best for your continued recovery!

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  • Posted

    Soo exciting achieving these things --well done! Remember we're all different. I'm 16 weeks post. Didn't want MUA! Bend not brilliant but slowly getting there. Not being that restricted in my life except can't really do long walk with dogs. Walk without limp. Specialist/surgeon happy. Have sworn by massage regularly to loosen up knee before exercises or walking. Good luck on your journey!

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  • Posted

    Well done I finally have my pre op appointment it's on the 22nd June how long did everyone wait to have the op after their pre op

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    • Posted

      I had my pre-op on 15th May and THOUGHT it would then be 8 - 12 weeks for the op (gone up a few weeks since the last knee done on 1st March) but when no letter came my husband phoned the hospital and they're not even sending letters out until end June and it's  likely to be beginning of September that they do the knee now.  Which means the 12 week window for MRSA tests and blood tests etc. that they did won't be applicable, so will need to go back for more tests!  But I'm not so bothered about that - just want the date for the knee done.  As I guess you do too!

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  • Posted

    First of all, well done Susie!  It sounds awful not being able to lift the leg all this time.  Have you been doing the slide exercises sitting in a chair?  If you haven't, then I'd start right now, as well as the straightening ones.  You need to be working on this but go gently, each fraction of a degree will help you, but push it until you feel tightness and then a fraction more and hopefully you'll ease your way there.  These exercises are SO important and will make the difference to your leg being normal or not, for the rest of the life of the knee.  You don't need to be spending every minute of the day doing them but just every couple of hours spend ten minutes doing your best to increase that bend and straighten the knee.  Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Susie, I can't believe it was only March 1st this year that I had my TKR!  It all seems like years ago now.  I got way beyond the bend I needed by six weeks and by about 8 weeks post op the knee started to feel natural and I don't notice it at all now other than there's no pain (unlike the unoperated leg LOL!) and it's strong and stable.  I just don't think about it much now other than to appreciate it!  I was where I hoped I'd be at a year, before three months!  I can get up from a lower chair now, using the operated knee as 'my strength' where I couldn't before the op, and the same with stairs.  It's just totally brilliant and amazing!  The worst of it is that I've got a tiny little bump on the scar where a stitch came through the skin and they took it out at six weeks LOL!  Trivia LOL!  Thank you for asking:-))))

      I hope you can get that bend now that you need for normal life, not to forget the straightening too:-)))

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    • Posted

      I should have added - swelling is pretty much gone now and I notice I can see the kneecap contour clearly on the operated knee, whereas the other knee is much fatter now, so obviously more swollen with the arthritis.  Again - I didn't expect this until a year post op!

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