Gone backwards

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I was doing so well and I’ve gone backwards. I’m really emotional which just isn’t me. I’m absolutely exhausted all the time. I have to work as I alone support my family. TKR and Osteotomy on 9th Jan went back to work on 8thFebruary on phased return for two weeks; this was at 4 weeks post op. Then full time at 6 weeks. 

Can anyone advise me of how many exercise sets I should be doing a day and for how long. I’m walking around office hourly but tonight have had to take oral morph again as in agony. I’m on 130 bend and -9 straight. I’m 8 weeks now post op. 

The advise I need please of what exercices and how much a day?  How long on each set: I’m setting my phone alarm to walk around every hour. 

How much medication are people taking at 8 was post op. I understand everyone different but rough idea would be helpful. 

Did anyone else feel miserable and emotional? I have been very tearful this week which really isn’t me. 

Work is being supportive but then giving me extra cases and sending me away on training in 2 weeks. 

Also I don’t feel tired; I feel exhausted. Does anyone else feel like this?

I am a 60 yr old children’s social worker who works full time. 

Sorry to be a nuisance but some help would be greatly appreciated. 

1 like, 14 replies

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Returning to work after only 4 weeks, even part time is way too early. You have had very major surgery and really do need much longer to recover. I think most TKR patients feel miserable and emotional at some time, and even ask themselves why did I have the OP. It will pass in time and you will eventually realise that it was worth it. You have many years of pain free knee to look forward to. Your bend is very good  indeed, but unless you can get straight it is very difficult not to limp. Everyone's recovery is different so it's impossible to say what exercises and how long to exercise each day. My medication was Tramadol slow release, co-codamol and diclofenac, for about 2½months I think, then just co-codamol if needed.  Exercise as much as possible but don't over do it. You also need to rest, elevate and ice your knee. You are bound to feel exhausted after 4 weeks, you would even if you were not working. It was 6 months before I returned to work. Try and take as long as you can before fully returning to work, not easy if you are not being paid whilst off work. It's almost 20 years since my left TKR and 18 since the right, and I have had no problems at all with them. At 76 I hope they will last as long as I do.lol I don't think you have gone backwards, it's part of the recovery process, there will be ups & downs, highs & lows, but you will get there in the end.

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    • Posted

      Thank you David sadly I had to go back full time 2 weeks ago salt 6 weeks post op. 

      I was worried about still taking medication like I am. I tried walking every hour yesterday and ended up having to take so much medication last night I felt it was too much. 

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  • Posted

    Hi

    That seems to be soon to go back to work but also understand taking care of your family. I didn’t have a total knee but had acl recostruction and am 5 weeks post op. I take about 2 pain pills a day.  bemd your knee a lot while in bed and ice ice ice. Hope you feel better 

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  • Posted

    I honestly don’t know how on earth you are coping.I am at same stage as you and slightest thing depressing me.Luckily enough I am retired as I definitely couldn’t work the way I feel.I am trying to cut my pain meds but as I have chronic back pain which has worsened from knee operation.Just feel I’m never going to be normal again.I hope you get sorted soon.x
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  • Posted

    I am also 60-my biggest problem has been crashing exhaustion- at times- and I am retired- not working.  Whenever I over do - with life- which I never stopped caring for my mom and 3 year old grandson plus 🏡 soooo

    I am proud of you- we all do what we have to do- but- I am sad to say I think the exhaustion will last at least 3 to 6 months.  I have been totally shocked by how tired I get.  Others made me feel “normal “ when I ask a similar question at 10 weeks post op- my surgery was nov 29, 2017 and it is getting better.  Since you must work maybe you can give yourself permission to rest after work and ice.  My doctors and honestly I stopped all pain meds at 10 weeks.  But I was not working- I take prescription time release Advil.  You will make it!!!!!!

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    • Posted

      Absolutely!  I am 3 Mo this out and had a major meltdown last Thursday. Crying fit- yes- fatigue and emotions (crying) have been my biggest concern because it is not something I am use to.  It is getting better but the first 6 weeks I cried almost daily.
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  • Posted

    You are early in your recovery. Being in agony, your body is sending a message you are doing too much. Energy is needed to heal your knee. You can do leg lifts sitting in a chair and heel slides to increase your extension and flexion gradually. It doesn't happen overnight for most people. It sounds like you get more than enough walking in your job and don't need to walk every hour.. I am using half crutches which are easier to support my body weight to keep excess stress off my knee. Read Chico Marx and Old Fat Guy posts, they give excellent advice. Every recovery sets its own pace, pay attention to your body's pain and back off exercising before it reaches the excruciating level. My LTKR was May 2017. I took pain meds for 3 months then one aleve daily. Ten months later the left leg is much stronger than the right knee. I am 67.5 and live alone with three dogs, and am a retired brain injury nurse. Emotional ups and downs-yes- pain, lack of sleep and overwhelming feelings wondering when healing would be done weigh heavy on the mind but each month it has gotten better (-0/125) and I am glad I had it done now. I feel better prepared for the next one in August.  

    Best wishes for healing. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Laurel. I do read Chico’s posts they are so helpful. But your equally. We have two dogs; 1 cat; 2 horses, 2 birth grown up children; 2 chosen children; (fostered and then adopted) and my grandson 18mths. I’ve been divorced 24 yrs so it’s just me with them all. 1 grown up daughter lives in her own house. I support rest at present.  Just feel so exhausted all the time; I hate it. I’m very much brain active raring to go but body can’t keep up. Good luck with your next op x
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  • Posted

    Dear Trees, you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. I delayed taking care of me to take care of my husband when he was diagnosed with cancers. I was strong for him over four very tough years before he passed away after 45 years of marriage. Having been so strong and independent most of my life, knee problems (exacerbated by gymnastics fifty years ago) put me in a position of having to ask for help. After being a nurse and taking care of people, I had to learn to be a patient. Post op

    complications had me in a wheelchair for ten months. I have learned a lot about disability challenges and ways to be resourceful living alone. Ask for and accept help.

    Are there community resources (church, groups, etc)  that can help you?

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  • Posted

    Hi there Trees, I know you had to go back to work & I also know what your work entails, I have a friend who WAS a child protection social worker! Was, because she was part of the latest round of job cuts, not her decision to leave! 

    You would  be exhausted at this stage even if not at work! You had major surgery, you are experiencing a recovery which can be gruelling!

    Just take it a little easier on the walking about & exercise less frequently than the optimal 2 times a day! If you don't exercise one day don't beat yourself up! Maybe do every other day for a while. It can still be done. Stop wearing your cape, believe it or not you are not superwoman! Don't try to be!

    You have to work, so exercise needs to go on the back burner for a while! Give your body a chance to recover. Your flexion is excellent so you just need to keep it, don't worry about getting more at this point in time. When you're less exhausted step up the exercise again.

    You do have to concentrate on the extension though as without a straight leg you will limp. Maybe try to put your heel on a stool or another chair, when you're sitting at your desk, making sure the knee area is not supported. Or do at home when you sit down in the evening. Alternatively lie on your bed, thighs on the bed lower legs over the edge, let gravity do its thing, if you can do this. It may well hurt.... a lot, but it works plus you get to lie face down & close your eyes, rest while you do it! Obvs this can't be done at work!! Work through the exercises on the hospital physio sheet as a couple of them are for the extension as well as the stretches when they suggest you ice.

    I am now approaching 12 wks post op & am retired, so glad I haven't got to think about return to work, I'm still tired, but not so much. Returned to work in 2017 after TKR right leg at 12 wks. It was good to get back, meet my friends & colleagues but boy was I tired & I was a part timer!! You really are a Trojan! If a knackered one!!

    Try to ease the burden as much as you can. Exercise mainly weekends & don't overdo it! Get the family to help as much as they are able, they love you, they will want to help if they know just how much you are struggling. Please don't be a martyr!

    Try to rest as much as you can, you're still in the exhaustion stage, this op takes it all out of you

    Best advice, look forward.... summer without arthritis pain . Walking again (do the straightening exercises). Promise yourself a treat for the summer, a spa day, retail therapy maybe a swanky pair of shoes, or a wonderful holiday. Anything that you would enjoy, doesn't have to cost the earth. Something to strive for that is for you! For when you are more mobile again.

    Marilyn 

    XX

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your lovely message Marilyn. 

      I have never felt this exhausted in my life. Yesterday I walked every hour and ended up having to take oral

      Morphine last night so today cut down  and just did some minimal moving around  and flexing and stretching. Pain easier tonight but tendon in good leg front of knee playing up. Also decided against driving for a few days have only driven once since operation. 

      I’ll try again next week; have also gone back on one crutch today to help. 

      My family have been good but in some areas could have been better. 

      Work has been understanding but again there is understanding in one hand and giving me lots of extra work on the other. 

      I’m going to Cyprus with my girls in June; we are taking my 18month old Grandson so will be nice. My son who has been very good is going later in the year with his partner. 

      Thank you again for your kind words and thoughts; somlovely of you. 

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  • Posted

    Yep good idea to go back on one crutch. Use the crutches when you need them. 

    All the best to you 

    Marilyn 

    XX

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