Getting Your Life Back after TKR

Posted , 8 users are following.

Well today felt fairly momentous. I drove for the first time.  Didn't go too far and it was fine.  I had no idea how knee replacement would affect me in so many ways.   It feels like a huge journey and it's only been seven weeks so far.   I foolishly thought that I would go in, have the op, come out do a few exercises and get over the op and be back to 'normal'.   I'm walking well, no real sign of limp but I'm walking so slowly (slow snails pace!).   I think a huge amount of positive mental attitude and determination is needed to get back to living life. I don't think I will be the same person again as I know my fitness levels will improve and I will continue to make exercise a huge part of my life.  I don't think I will ever take anything for granted again!  And I certainly look at people with walking canes etc.in a different way - you just never know what people are going through.   Who else feels this is life changing in more ways than one?  

1 like, 19 replies

Report / Delete

19 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    yes jane, very life changing.  hang in there and keep up with the exercises.  this a tough surgery.  you'll find lots of good people and information on this thread.  how far along are you?  when i drove for the first time i was scared as heck (didnt want to admit to anyone), but i went slow and got there. one day and step at a time, best of health to you, k.p.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, I'm seven weeks this week so a way to go yet.  Getting the bend back has been very slow, but I will get there. Best wishes to you. 

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I'm at 7 weeks too. I had my left knee done so I was able to drive after just a few weeks. I went back to teaching this week which really normalized things for me. I still have sleeping issues--I olnly take 5 mg of Vicodin at bedtime and when it wears off and the pain returns after 5 or 6 hours Ijust get up I had my prostate removed last year and this is defnitely a tougher recovery. I don't know if this is so life changing as it is an acknowledgement that getting older is tough and decline inevitable. Carpe diem!

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I'm not ready to decline yet!  I am having trouble sleeping too - actually it's not pain just uncomfortable in bed. I go off and then wake every couple of hours!  Very annoying.  Best wishes to you - hope you get pain free soon.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I am now recovering from my second TKR.  I had my left knee replaced two years ago and my right knee replaced just over five weeks ago so I know what to expect!    Everything is progressing well and I am not taking painkillers during the day at all now.  I am doing the exercises, walking for half an hour each day outside the house and using my exercise bike for ten minutes.  Things are gradually improving.  However, I know the sleep issue will be with me for a while yet!  I am just the same, ie waking up every hour or so, changing position, exercising my leg, going back to sleep, waking up again etc.  I am not sure whether it is the body's own way of making sure that the leg does not stiffen up too much if it were to remain in the same position for too long!  I know that if I sit down for an hour or so, then my knee does stiffen up and I then have to walk around to loosen it again, so maybe there is a reason behind the disturbed sleep pattern.  It was reassuring two years ago to access this forum and find out that other people were experiencing the same discomfort.  As you say, Jane, it is not actual pain, just an aching uncomfortable feeling.  Somebody suggested putting an ice pack around the knee when getting into bed to help deal with the swelling and tightness.  I have tried this and I do find it helpful.  Having experienced it before, I know it is just a question of time and I think it will have settled down in another month from now.   Best wishes for a quick recovery and a back to normal lifestyle. 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Well done Dorothy on going for number 2. My other knee need done and mentaly I keep putting it off. Do not know for how much longer I can though. It has only been 10 months since i had the other one done. I am only 50 but know it will be soon. Take care and well done on your excellent recovery x
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks Dorothy, I agree, when I've been sitting for a while, and certainly when I get up that stiffness has started to set in and you feel desperate to get it moving again.   It's nice to hear from someone on their 2nd knee!  Good luck and good health. 😊

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I am 19 days post op on tkr of right knee. I was informed, read all I could about the surgery and recovery process. I thought it would be a breeze. How wrong I have been. The pain knocks me out and seems to be constant. PT is torture, but I go and do all the exercises at home as follow up.  Sleeping is nearly impossible.  A few questions... how long do I need to wear the TED stockings?  How long do I need to wear the immobilizer brace at night?
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      The pain will ease, everyone has different experience but after about three weeks mine turned into more of a discomfort and I was able to come off some of the pain meds. Now I just take Paracetemol when I need it and ibuprofen for the swelling.  Make sure you ice as often as you can and elevate the leg which definitely helps, I've increased my 'icing' considerably. PT is hard and I find depending on who is with me I can come out feeling either pleased or deflated!  Just keep at it and do as much as you can yourself.  The TED stockings - six weeks!  Boy was I glad not to wear them.  I didn't have an immobiliser brace so I don't know about that.  If you can get in a pool once the scar is healed up, it helps hugely.  Everything will get easier and this is a great place to look for help and tips. Wishing you well Ellen.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Jane, I am 10 months since my left tkr and like you was not prepared for the effect this op would have on me. I thought like you I would spring back very quickly and was not prepared to the effect on me. It took me 12 weeks to get back to work and although am doing well find I can only walk 10-15 mins now and not very fast. I used to walk 1-2 hours a day and fairly fast. I am finding this the hard part missing my walking, as is my wee dog,  My other knee needs done and although physically I am ready for it mentally I don't think so.

    ?Take care and keep thinking positive...do a little more each day. And one big thing I have discovered is live ech day and enjoy each day. I took life forgranted and now I still work full time but make time for me and get my family to wait at times instead of always doing everything for them. S x

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    "I foolishly thought that I would go in, have the op, come out do a few exercises and get over the op and be back to 'normal'."

    WE ALL THOUGHT THE SAME!!!!!  I don't think anyone here had any concept of what TKR recovery would entail.  Pain, effort, pain, time, pain, drugs, pain...oh yes...and pain.  I'm at 10 months and it's still not over.  Wanted to be back on skates on January 1st.  Really?  What an idiot.  I still don't have the stength or the balance to even think about that goal.  Maybe July 1st....maybe a year from now.

    Life is definitely different and will always be so.  No more 5K runs...in fact, no running at ALL!!!  So absolutely no hockey ever again.  Thinking seriously about cutthroat shuffleboard...

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I hope you manage to get on those skates soon Chico - have you found any exercise,particularly helpful with balance?   I was a tennis player/runner in my younger days. I miss tennis, it was a passion. Whilst I. Lidl go back to gentle doubles, I'm unlikely too - got to find a new passion, don't know what it's going to be but I will be looking!  🙃

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Pick one or more...

      http://patient.info/forums/discuss/do-s-and-don-ts-after-a-tkr-a-typical-list-541794

      With back surgery imminent for my newly discovered stenosis, I'm not likely to get on those skates for a while. After the op, I'll start balancing work on my bike.  Gotta get that feeling back that I can handle the motion shifts.  Skates maybe this spring or summer.  I can wait...I'll be patient.  You can still do doubles tennis...on the approved list.  Not good for me with a metal knee and hip plus a fused back L3 through S1.  I will be happy with casual skating...although my competitive nature will remain unfulfilled.

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up