I feel I've lost ground..

Posted , 10 users are following.

Today starts week 5 post TKR...  Straightening isn't fun but do-able.  Bending my knee however feels next to impossible.  I get very sharp pains to the back of my knee.  My knee feels so swollen that when trying to bend it it feels impossible... like it might burst!  Trying to sit with my leg at 90 degrees seemed close to happening a week or so ago.. and now it's not.  My surgeon says no to analgesics.  Ice and plain Tylenol only.  I can't bear to face my exercise sessions without something much stronger..... and have some old stash that I'm using.  I go to see the surgeon later this week.  Very frustrated...

Thanks for many of the posts written here.  Help me feel I'm not alone.

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    I am 6 weeks post TKR and had surgery last week large toe joint implant on same leg. My knee is worse this week, can bend at about 90 where as before the toe surgery was over 100. I sat at the table to do my bills last week, sitting for about 1 1/2 hrs swelled up my leg. Was supposed to reduce from hydrocodone to tramadol for pain but haven't yet because of toe surgery. I work at an office, desk job, was planning on going back to work at 8 weeks but that's just a few weeks from now and am doubting if I will be able to yet. Long process this is! Ask your Dr about Tramadol.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Aunt Dee... where are you from?  I will ask again about meds but when the surgeon said NO the first time I'm not sure if he will produce a script this time.....

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  • Posted

    It will get better with time! Swelling does affect range of motion. As swelling goes down  it will be easier to extend and flex your knee. Several friends had success with ibuprofen, but aleve has worked better for me. Ginger and turmeric with black pepper are natural anti-inflammatories and I take those as well. When I miss a dose I feel more pain. 

    Be patient with yourself and don't let anyone hold you to their expectation. Pay attention to your body. Five weeks is still earl. Ice, elevate, rest and exercise as you can tolerate. Best Wishes for continued recovery!

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  • Posted

    I too have trouble getting to 90 without a ton of pain - BUT if I take one OXY 5 mg before I go to PT it is easier - still hard and painful but much easier to achieve. Your surgeon shoud give you something , that just doesnt seem right to me... I would use your old stash for sure - bet your surgeon never went thru this kind of pain - I am 6 weeks P.O. and the pain is real .... good luck 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for responding.  Perhaps the pain meds are an issue because of drug abuse on the street?  My PT said 8 months ago people were coming in at 6-8 weeks STONED,   Now they are holding off in prescribing anything!  I know that without any drugs those exercises are just not happening.  Thanks again and good luck to you....
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  • Posted

    Tomins,

    I do not give advice because I am not a doctor.  I will tell you my experience though.  I have all sorts of issues with pain meds.  I was ten weeks post op and could not get my knee to bend and was becoming very very discouraged...despondent was more like it.  The surgeon was wanting me to take more and more pain relievers so he could hit a target on my physio.  I became very alarmed.  I thought my knee and leg are already very swollen.  How am I going to do more aggressive PT?  A sports friend looked at my leg at the request of my husband and he said I'd never get that knee to bend with my hamstring and knee tendons? Ligaments? (I told you I'm not a doctor) behind the knee in such bad shape.  He said I had really bad damage back there and until that issue was taken care of my knee would not bend and in doing more exercises I would have more damage.    He said the last thing I needed was more aggressive PT.  I was sick over the weekend from a prescription and mostly stayed in bed but iced my leg and just rested.  I was too ill to do anything else except pump my feet which we need to be doing a lot anyway.  The next day the swelling had gone down in my poor knee and leg.  I did some gentle back and hamstring stretches and then half the exercises I usually do.  Last night I finally, after ten, horrible weeks, got my knee to bend 90 degrees.  That may not seem like a big bend to some but to me it had been like climbing Mount Everest.  I believe if I will listen to my body and be faithful to doing my exercises while icing and getting enough rest my knee will gradually get the good bend it needs.  You really should be taking some sort of stronger pain meds.  I take 15 mgs of codeine three times per day which isn't that much and I am still sore but it takes away the bad soreness and I can sleep.  I hope I never have to take dihydrocodeine again.  It made me sick as a dog.  I lost too much weight while taking it and I am anemic from the surgery.  I'll say this too...I am not allowing another PT to push on my leg and my surgeon is going to be very angry but I don't want my leg ruined.  For some reason the surgery caused me to develop plantar fasciitis which I've never had in my life.  It is so painful.  I keep icing it and doing simple exercises for it.  If it wasn't for my kind husband I'd have given up long ago.  I hope you can get the help you need.  At five weeks I still had excruciating pain.  Tylenol wouldn't touch it.  Keep us updated.  

     

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  • Posted

    Don't feel discouraged.  5 weeks is not very far out. It will get better and there are up and downs. Lots lol it will be ok and you will make progress. I am four months out still in PT 2x a week working on ROM. I was very swollen for a long time and it limited my progress. Still swells but so much better then the ROM improved quicker and I was able to do heel slides better at home. Be patient and persistent and in a few weeks It gets better truly. You will be alright.

    Glad you have something stronger than Tylenol too. I can't understand why doc wouldn't give you something stronger for pain. For a long time I took pain med an hour before physical therapy. 

    Wishing you all the best in recovery! It's a long journey but it's a journey that's worth it. I am just beginning to see some light at end of tunnel still a long ways to go through smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Tomins, I’m 5 weeks too and am stuck at a 40 degree bend. I’m trying really hard with exercises but like you it feels so tight as if it will burst. I feel so low and despondent. Physio feels I will need an MUA and I’m sure she feels I’m not trying hard enough. I keep hoping that eventually the swelling will go down and this will free me to bend, however, I’m unsure when this will happen. 

    Looking at these replies we are bit alone. 

    Stay strong and keep us updated. 

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  • Posted

    Are you in USA?

    Crazy about not giving you sufficient pain relief...!

    It's early days, so try to relax, though I do realise it is not easy.

    Are you elevating your leg a lot?

    Getting the swelling down is vital.

    Are you on anti inflammatories?

    You may like to go to my profile by clicking on the image next to my name. I kept a journal of my own knee replacement journey, and I have been told by several people they found it helpful to read, or skim through. It has a lot of useful suggestions and information. Everyone has their own individual experience which varies an lot, but it can be useful to read others.

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  • Posted

    I remember that feeling well. When you feel like your knee is away to burst open. I had that too and it was quite alarming. That's a memory now though. I'm 12 weeks and doing away fine. Just niggles to get over but at 12 weeks it's nothing major. You will get better in time and your troubles today will soon be a memory too. Good luck 🍀

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  • Posted

    Advances, setbacks, plateaus...all part of the NORMAL recovery which is NOT linear.  It's more like the attached picture...

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    • Posted

      - Click on the picture...it expands. 

      - Put your cursor inside the picture and RIGHT-CLICK. 

      - Select "Save As..." and save it to your pictures folder. 

      - Use any photo printing software you have to expand the picture to fill the page so it's nice and big.

      Tech support out... 

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