How to regain positivity after TKR

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4.5 weeks after TKP op. No pain when walking but a lot pain afterwards exercise and physio and at night. Is this normal? How much should I walk?

Only taking 2 paracetamol occassionly.

Would like advise on how to be positive.

This may sound ridiculous but I feel like I have PTSD from the op. I feel like I my body has suffered from an assault.

So i need to get past this. Any advice would be welcome.

I forgot to add that I managed to get a kidney infection which hasn't helped..


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40 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Molly it I see like having PTSD after the op.  This site is a great help, loads of people all different with great advice and help.  I am now at 9 weeks post op. I have walked since the beginning with little pain.  Still have pain on exercising and after but after about six weeks the pain changed to more of an ache.  I still struggle at night too, it's  hard to get comfortable. But with every weeks that passes things get easier.  I think it's useful to keep a diary of how you feel and how you are progressing as it boosts you up a bit to look back and see that you are definitely better than you were early on. I increased the icing of my knee which definitely helped.  Take ibuprofen when you need to if you have swelling and discomfort.  If the knee swells and hurts cut down a bit on the walking/exercise and build it up a bit more gradually.  Like you I had sickness and other stuff going on so it definitely all combined to knock you for six.  This is a hard op to get over but you will get there.  All the very best to you. Keep going.  😊

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    • Posted

      That's great advice about the diary.

      We forget very quickly how we had been intially.

      We use a bit more pain relief when needed.

      I was inclined to try to battle through it.

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  • Posted

    Early days yet

    I'm 10 months and still experiencing pain and difficulty in walking - can take up to two years I've been told if ever.

    Heard last night that these prosthetics only last about 10 years. Good health anyway x

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  • Posted

    M, found this link

    I too find myself experiencing some concern. I am 4 weeks post TKR. My pain is finally becoming manageable. The first few weeks was pure hell. I cried a lot. Now I find myself really concerned about my other knee (need TKR too). I am petrified at the very thought of having this surgery again.

    But, I also think that since this is the most painful and traumatic surgery that you can have that we must anticipate our bodies suffering severe trauma. My physical therapist said that your leg doesn't know if it was in a serious car crash as opposed to having elective surgery. The body perceives it as traumatic and responds accordingly.

    I take one day at a time. I am aware and try and stay mindful for more telling symptoms of PTSD, which would, as the nature of PTSD, manifest in starting in excessive "guarding" of the leg. As a normal outcome of the pain and sensitivity, we are already guarding the leg. But you find yourself avoiding medical appointments; getting very very anxious before physical therapy; or avoiding going to physical therapy; replaying the most traumatic parts of the surgery or pain during your recovery over and over in your head... Talk to someone. In fact if you access to a therapist I would talk to one. Never leave issues like this unresolved.

    I have existing PTSD after my husband was killed by a drunk driver and I was in a car accident a year later.

    I think you are going to be fine and that more people that care to admit feel the same.

    Take care!

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    • Posted

      Sorry for your loss and present pain. Puts mine in perspective. No harm for me to remember that are people a lot worse off than me. Actually make me feel a bit better to remember that.
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  • Posted

    Hey Mollybawn.. Interesting question because I'm struggling with the same thing now. I'm 17 days post TKR and feel the same way. I had TKR on my other leg 6 months ago and remember going through this "blue" stage. It's something the Docs don't talk about but it's a real feeling and now it's happening again. I've been more open about it this time with my friends and family and that seems to help. It's almost like I'm in a stage of depression. Here it is 4 AM and I'm just not right. This feeling is separate from the pain it's like it's own level of uncomfortableness. One thing I can say is that It Will Go Away. Don't beat yourself up too much and know that it's a normal feeling for what your body has gone thru. Try and get as much rest as possible, eat right, fight through the struggles of everyday life. I set little goals every day, even if they are real small. Like forcing myself to get up and take a shower, brush teeth, eat and go meet with friends. Everyday is a success in my mind and it bringse closer to total recovery. As I said This Will Go Away! Hang in there and stay as positive as possible. Good luck friend.

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  • Posted

    Hi Molly. I am now 8 weeks post surgery and have experienced everything you are going through. I went back to work teaching high school after six weeks.Some on this forum said that was crazy but for me it was a lifesaver. Two reasons for that: 

    First, it got me back in the flow of life with a purpose. Being with the kids and my colleagues again lifted my spirits up greatly. The second reason is that teaching is exhausting so it made good sleep at night possible. It is easy to forget that for a normally active adult, recuperating from surgery is doing some exercies but mostly sitting/laying around reading or watching the television and you just don't tire your body out doing that.

    At night, I have been taking 5 mg of activan (lorazepam) to help me to relax at bedtime  and 5 mg of vicodin for the pain..Still using activan--love that stuff and it seemsto have no negative side effects---but  I have switched to 500 mg of Tyelnol (acetominophen) for the pain at night. That seems to be just as effective as the narcotic

    .You didn't mention sleep in your post but that is key to how you feel, I was sleeping so badly for the first few weeks that I was almost psychotic.

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    • Posted

      Have pain at night but I get to sleep on and off OK. Seems like I've been going

      "Cold turkey"with regards pain relief so I might take a bit more pain medication.

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  • Posted

    Hi Mollybawn

    At 4.5 weeks you are still in the early stages of recovery.

    You've just had a brutal operation, your leg cut about, nerves, muscle & bone cut away. It will take time & we are all different.

    You will notice small improvements soon, but they can be subtle, you suddenly realise you've not been in so much pain, that you're moving easier. Then you understand you are recovering.

    I am at 13 weeks today, all in all I feel good. I still get pain, I had pain around my kneecap recently, but I actually sleep rather well now, I can get out of a chair without stumbling all over the place (apart from left knee which needs TKR), I can go up & down stairs.

    I am only just losing the numbness at the right side of leg & knee.

    So life's good!

    You will get there!

    Our surgeons never give a clue as to what it's like afterwards do they!

    They probably don't even know, I've seen my surgeon 3 times, 1st when he put me on list, 2nd at operation & 3rd when I went back @ 8 weeks! I was feeling better by then so it never came up. (The consultation took about 5 mins max)

    Maybe get better pain relief from your GP. I found paracetamol alone not enough!

    Keep your chin up, you WILL get there.

    All the best



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  • Posted

    TOTALLY normal! Pain after. Then you get so sick of how its going to feel after the exercise and so sick of the pain and you just want it to STOP! PTSD, that's what i said to my friend. Its easy to get infection cuz you dont want to get up n down off toilet so u dont drink as much as you should. IT GETS BETTER. start drinking more water, long term ptsd not an issue. Staying positive, knowing it gets better will help a lot. A few more weeks and youll see a big difference!

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