How long does your body need to fully recover from TKR?

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I'm a 60 year old female, 4 weeks post op from TKR. Both doctor and PT say I'm doing great. But I still have pain every night and can't sleep. This is leading to depression. I'm just wondering if mentally I should be feeling better by now, or if I need to keep telling myself that I had Major surgery and recovery takes time.

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  • Posted

    Ho I am 48 male and I am 15 days post op. It is going to take a while 6 months to a year it all depends.depression is something that happens to people for me it hit me very hard last week. Called my doctor he gave me some medicine to help with that. This forum has helped greatly. People are so kind and always encouraging you. I saw my surgeon today and I ask about the pain, the stiffness, the sleeping, all will pass your body has been through a great deal, bones were cut ligaments were removed, muscle has been cut. It takes time for bone to heal up to a year, muscles need to gain strength. The best advice have gotten on here is listen to your body, stay on meds, rest, elevate, and ice, do your exercises to the best of your ability. But most of all stay positive it will get better, we will have good days and bad days remember everyone is different. And there is always someone to talk to on here. So good luck one day at a time

    Thanks

    Tom

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    • Posted

      Just hang in there. Today I had my second physical therapy session and it wore me out that's a good thing. Took pain med hour before it started got me through it. Came home ate some lunch got some ice and then I went for a nice nap. At 16 days po I still find it hard to sleep maybe 4 hours at a time, however it's starting to be a more sound sleep. So I think that is good. Also if I do my exercises an hour or two before bed it make me tired. So give that a try. Right now my pain is mor in my upper thigh then my knee, don't get me wrong knee still hurts but most of pain is the thigh. So my advice is let your body be your guide don't push beyond the stretch point count to 10 repeat

      Have a great day, and always to the people on this forum I say thank you.

      Tom

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    • Posted

      Thank you Tom. I had my second therapy today also, and it felt good to work hard! I guess the pressure I feel comes from Co workers who keep asking when I'm coming back. If you're not bleeding, people think you are OK! I don't want to whine about my pain constantly, so I start to second guess myself.

      Thanks for the encouragement! !

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    • Posted

      I agree if not bleeding then your not hurt. Don't second guess yourself I did that last week and made me so depressed. Pain is there and will be there for awhile. I saw my surgeon yesterday and I told him about the pain and he said what do you expect you just had knee replacement surgery it's going to hurt, he way of being funny, I have full faith in my surgeon as this is the second operation he done on my knee first one in 2014 to repair torn meniscus, this one for tka. He is a top rated surgeon here in the states as he is on staff with one of our pro football (American football) teams. So a little shut out to him, I should tell him I said that maybe he will give a discount on my bill lol. Jere I go again rambling on, back to point take the meds ice and rest.

      Thanks again

      Tom

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda!

    Recovery varies with the person. Pain is a bigger issue for some more than others. Some have lots of swelling which makes bending and straightening of the knee pretty difficult for awhile. Depression sometimes sets in, sometimes not. Again, it varies with the individual.

    Four weeks post op is still early in the game, but you may be noticing improvement now. Around nine weeks I was able to achieve a better sleeping position which helped me get a couple hours of rest at a time. Twelve weeks was even better when I FINALLY slept for six hours straight --a big improvement.

    Healing is not always even, and it doesn't always come in a steady amount. Even almost a year after my first TKR there are really good days and a few achy days mixed in when I just curl up with a good book and rest.

    For me I think about four months post surgery was me being able to walk better and feel more normal. Once my second knee was replaced I was able to move MUCH better.

    Tom has many good suggestions!

    Nice work, Tom!🙌

    Look for small improvements. Don't worry about any SHOULDS because you are your own unique person. Your body will lead the way!

    Come back here often. It will help you see that you have MANY who understand and can support you as you recover!💗

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  • Posted

    Hi Linda...I too am 60 years old and had TKR (right) 7 weeks ago!  I remember at 4 weeks that I could not sleep but a couple of hours at a time.  As time has progressed I am getting better with sleeping but still have issues.  Pain is not as severe but I still have mainly inside my knee.  Dr and therapist all say I am doing well.  I have just started to drive (once) this week and did fairly well.  No one told me that this surgery was going to be so painful or going to take so long to recover from. However, I will say that I do not believe that I would have opted to not follow through because I was so close to being unable to walk or do anything that I used to do.  I had a Dr tell me in the hospital that he needed to create a patience pill for his patients such as me.... It is difficult surgery to get over but am told everyone is different.  This page has certainly helped me to realize that I just need to take it one day at a time and keep on with therapy.Good  luck to you as you recover. 
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    • Posted

      Consultant told me that realistically we're looking at at least 18 months for full recovery. I am 6 weeks post op on second TKR and off pain killers for two weeks now, or at least I was until last week when I hurt my back. I do not experience pain in the knee now but the bend is still poor. Not worried because the first TKR was rubbish as this stage and despite my consultants concern I am not worried! 
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  • Posted

    Hi Linda

    Yes its very early days. Pain is normal at that stage. Give it a good few more weeks before it lessens but it will. Regarding depression I think we are all different. I had one person who took me to the hospital,visited me when I was in and took me out when i came out of 7 days rehab. But for reasons out of both of our control that stopped. That left me with nothing I didnt pay for. I certainly found out who my friends were. One friend visited me for an hour for the first few days,greatly appreciated. Every little bit helps. The others came nowhere near. To be honest i think my anger got me through. Forget family as far as im concerned. They didnt care and in most cases didnt know. If youve got good ones Linda be grateful love. 

    Sorry for the rant but I think youre well on course. Keep your chin up

    John.

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    • Posted

      PS 7 months now. No pain meds,driving,walking unaided though i dont overdo it. Going swimming. Now theres a thought for the future. Wasnt too keen on it before,love it now

      John

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    • Posted

      Thanks John! I understand the part about loneliness as well. Where ARE all these friends? Barely time for a quick text from a couple. Makes for long days. But I do have wonderful family, so I'm grateful for that!
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    • Posted

      I hear what you're saying John,  I had two close friends who were my support after my surgery in Sept.  It was a standing weekly visit that I couldn't wait for.  They had not experienced this themselves, but totally understood me and what I was going through.  Not so with many.  If you haven't been through this, you have no idea the intensity.  Dr.s can say 3-4 months almost back to normal, 1 year back to normal, but there's no scale to determine just what normal is.  I have found at 8 months out, that I now have a "new normal"  it comes with things I'm just going to get used to living with - stiffness, numbness, a bit of pain on the inside of knee - not a big issue, and clicking.  But it's all good.  Just want it to last for a LONG time!!  And I didn't realize at the time, I'm sure I was going through depression because I was in tears quite a bit, lethargic, not hungry, kind of in a survival mode mentality....just get through one day at a time.  Then 8 weeks came, I was off cane, driving, and it's like I opened the door and saw sunshine.  

      Funny, I might see someone who looks like they've gone through the same surgery, and I'm tempted to ask how they're doing, whatever....but I don't because of privacy, etc.  

      To all who post on this site...I read every post, feel bad and wish there was something I could do to help, but I see where others have given their best advice and realize, I couldn't say it any better.  

      Take care,

      Mary Ann

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    • Posted

      Sorry for late reply Linda. Thanks for that. Well all get there hopefully. Glad youve got a nice family. I get texts from my sister about one of her grown up kids. She has never once asked me how my new knee is going.

      John.

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