Great Expectations

Posted , 11 users are following.

Fascinating forum. The difference in reported experiences is quite something.    I am 10 days post-op, tkr.   I can identify with many of you ,so far, and am keeping fingers crossed.

If I talk to anyone due to have this done I will start with these words - `you are going for major surgery, causing massive trauma to a weight bearing joint - you won`t be playing squash in2 weeks ! `.  Get real!!   Most of the advice on here is good and ,as many of you point out, there is no `norm` - we are all individual and respond and heal at different rates.

During my treatment so far I have been disappointed with some individuals who have followed a regimented line in answer to questions - `by day x you should be able to do this`, `expect to be on crutches for 3 months` etc etc.

Now , being an older, more cynical b****d I take all this with the scorn it deserves.With a leg twice its size a bend of 90 wasn`t going to happen - my body knows that!

Which is not to say that you ignore everything.Short bouts of execise are better than too much. And remember you will find bending and stretching much easier if you warm the muscles first with a hot water bottle. If you have swelling then get your leg up, with an ice pack for 20 mins followed by the heat treatment for 20, then rest.    This isn`t a race.   My goal is to get back on my bike, but I haven`t set a time scale - I`ll know when I`m ready.

Overdoing recovery in the early stages can lead to inflammation then infection - not a good place to be.

I have to get the swelling down and get rid of massive bruising - but despondent - no!

Let`s get the message out to everyone - by all means have expectations but you absolutely must be realistic !

 

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  • Posted

    Where have you been? Your words of wisdom and reality is exactly what some need to hear. Run your own race.
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  • Posted

    Hi Tony- glad to hear you are so positive and progressing gradually! I'm due for TKR in 3 weeks and have been reading lots of experiences looking for advice but it's such a mixed bag I wonder if I'd been better not looking! I am expecting it to be very painful, to be patient and do as I'm told with exercise and rest. It's a bit like childbirth- everyone has a story !

    My main worry is how much approximate time off I'm likely to have as am on my feet all day running around 30 4-5 year olds all day with small furniture to negotiate, so I have to be in a good place when I go back. School are very supportive and are hiring a temporary replacement, so no panic but obviously they (and she) need a bit of a clue.

    Keep up the good work (and thanks for the hot water bottle tip- I wouldn't have thought of that!)

    Thanks

    Mandy

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    • Posted

      Hi Mandy, I`ll tell you what I think but others will have a view to offer. Back to work, when? - has to be the biggest question mark after surgery. Look at the experience of others - but the simple answer is....you can`t know yet ! Look at the variables. We all reach surgery from a different start point, for different reasons and we all respond and heal differently. My guess is you should not be thinking about less than 3 months. A desk job would be easier to deal with but small children in a classroom ??   Think of a child running into you, overbalancing - any number of scenarios.    If you are healthy, strong and flexible you could have a quick recovery( and I hope you do) if not... then the timescale changes.

      Don`t fall into the trap of feeling guilty/ bowing to pressure - you have one life so your proper recovery is essential.  Employers don`t want to hear this ..... go back when you are ready. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony! I'm 9 weeks post-op and have some pretty bad swelling right now. Nothing I do seems to help it much, but the surgeon says it is normal to experience swelling within the first year. So, I'm doing everything I can to keep it down and just taking it easy. Everyone is different for sure.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for writing this. Is it safe to use heat after ice as you are trying to get the swelling down? I don't know but I know warm muscles and joints work better than my rusty old knee when it's cold.

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    • Posted

      Hi Nightfly, for you and others with the same problem - heat and cold are standard treatment for sports injuries, which  I` ve used  for years.

      Swelling is reduced by increasing circulation so you do this by alternating between cold then heat. Your blood vessels are closing down with the ice pack then opening up with heat.

      Best results come when you do this in short intervals , say 5 mins each perhaps for 30 mins.

      You can do this 3 or 4 times through the day, limited mostly by the number of servants willing to fetch and carry!

      Get the leg horizontal on sofa or bed and while applying heat push and pull with the foot so the calf and quad muscles can be felt moving - this is the natural pumping mechanism in action.

      Common sense says don`t get a freeze burn or heat burn .

      When I wanted this in Hospital I was told , Yes, it would be better but health and safety prevented them from bringing hot water !!

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony,

    ?Yeah I agree ... and that is exactly what I did - I ran my own race, in my time ..... in the words of the old Frank Sinatra hit " I did it my way" !!

    ?I had no PT from the hospital at all - I was given a booklet of exercises to do, and the frequency at which to do them. I supplemented this by viewing the same exercises on Youtube, this gave me a better insight as to what I was doing - and WHY . At 3 weeks I went back to hospital for a PT review and given the all clear BUT I still stayed on my crutches.

    ?However there was two things I did which I seldom see mentioned anywhere .... I went for PT 8 weeks before surgery to build up the strength in my leg, both above and below the knee. I wanted my knee to be in the best condition possible before surgery. After surgery, and after the dressing was removed, I went back for a few more weeks of massage therapy aimed at the same areas - PLUS extensive massage on the scar line aimed at breaking up the scar tissue before it took hold. Best things I ever did.

    John

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    • Posted

      Well done John.  The key for everyone, pre-op, is strength. Doesn`t matter how you get there but even small increases in muscle strength will aid recovery.As for physio.....this seems to be a postcode lottery.

      My `intensive physio` on the ward consisted of two cpm sessions and ice packs when I demanded them !   Now I`m home there is nothing, other than what I can do for myself or what I can afford to buy in.

      Contrast this with the Dutch model - the stay in Hospital is about the same but physio continues at home with standard and cpm sessions with the aim of getting everyone to 105 degrees.  Why 105 ? Because this is needed to ride a bike, which the Dutch use to get to shops, work, train, friends etc.  The added bonus is the general health of the nation.   Makes you think. We`ve got the wrong priorities somehow. 

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    • Posted

      For me my strength did help me. I have lifted weights for a long time. However, I think the advantage is diminished because I am so heavy. I was not really relatively strong. I am going to try warm heat right now.
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  • Posted

    I hope you're still this optimistic by week 5 or 6. I'm in the doldrums of the same old same old. Everyday with a stiff sore knee. I go to pt 3 times a week and not really getting anywhere. I just try to sleep alot.

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    • Posted

      I don't know. I feel like if I just could get over a certain level of healing then the stiffness and internal swelling could subside. I'm stuck at 95 ROM and it's just too stiff to go any further. I am not going through an MUA, I've told everybody that. I don't think pain should be about the recovery process.

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    • Posted

      I was doing great until I hit week 5-6, then I started getting this terrible swelling I'very been stuck with ever since, and I'm now 9 weeks post-op. Surgeon tells me it's normal so I'm just working through it. Hitting about 95-100 ROM. I know a couple people from PT that have had the MUA with no issues so I'm not sure why it has such a bad rep. I may be headed in that direction myself and I'm thinking it might not be a bad thing.

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    • Posted

      You don`t say what your flexibility and ROM were like before your op. The less you had then the harder it will be now.Every muscle group has to be re-trained and stretched to max., which is tough going.    You may even feel you are happy at 95 ROM, in which case work on reducing any swelling and move on. Keep a journal, record what you do ,when, how you felt and any changes you`ve noticed  - however small.  This way you can chart success not failure.

      I got to 95 in Hospital, then discharge with  leg like a log. No physio and I`m just back to about 75 with a long way to go!

      Good luck. 

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    • Posted

      Good evening. I feel your pain. Stiffness is what I have been dealing with since my TKR on July 12, 2016. I was doing the exercises they gave me, I had a MUA and was going to therapy 5x a week. I would get 78 rom one day and the very next day I was only at 55 rom. My doctor was concerned about my rom. He even mentioned revision and I was like H to the E to the double L naw! I went to the YMCA and did water therapy in the hot tub and pool and nothing seemed to work. I was issued a flexanator and a CPM machine and those didn't do much good. Then in about my 7th week post op, the stiffness began to loosen up. I used my CPM machine all night and it loosened up some more. I'm at about 92 rom and happy. I still have a long way to go but I'm not going to give up. I'll progress at my own pace and ain't no doctor or PT going to push me and I encourage you to do the same. TKR is a major surgery and it takes time to recover. My advice to you is when you start feeling some type of way about your recovery, come to this forum and let us know how you feeling. Trust me, somebody is going to have something encouraging to tell you to lift up your spirits. God bless!

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