knee replacement

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I'm 11 weeks post op tomorrow! I still can't walk very far and can only go up and downstairs one at a time! I have continuous broken sleep so permanently tired! Leg aches in bed but generally only take paracetamol. Is anyone else similar just want some normality? Back to work a week on Monday

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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie

    That was normal for me at that stage with both of my TKRs.  I went back to work at 6 weeks, but believe that was a mistake (as my job involves long periods of sitting, which caused further problems with straightening).

    I've just had my second TKR opened up again after a year, to remove excess scar tissue and have had a further 3 months off.

    I would advise you to visit your GP and ask for a bit more time.  Keep working on the exercises, and steady walks when the weather allows.  Also, ask your GP for alternative medication.

    Hope you see some improvement soon...and happy new year.

    Patsy

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    • Posted

      By the way, I was 52 for my first TKR and 54 for my second.  I've gone back to work on half days for 2 weeks and then three-quarter days for the next two weeks.  I think that that would have helped previously too.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie 

    my operation, a bilateral Tkr, was a week before yours.  I can sympathise with you on managing the stairs.  If you read other posts on this forum, we are not alone.  I have to purposely push my feet one after the other going up stairs but going down, it scares me and I do one step at a time like you.  I have been climbing stairs this way for years so I guess it will take some doing to change things and be " normal" again.  Another thing is the broken sleep.  I go off ok but I awake with really bad pain in one or the other knee.  I am taking stronger pain Meds but I still rarely sleep the whole night. Again, lots of us have this problem.  I am fine through the day.  I walk with very little pain but if I Si for too long, it's a bit of an effort to get going.

    Unlike you, I don't work.  So really hope you manage to sleep well soon.  It is a bit of a worry when things aren't quite right with us.  Have you tried sleeping with a pillow under your knees?  I was told not to do this but it helps a lot and better than pain.  Don't go over doing things back at work.  I hope you have a nice employer.  

    So, we're a lot alike, at similar stages in our recovery.  It's a major operation, and some people sail through but others, like you and I, take a bit longer.  I'm 59 by the way.  Anything is better than the pain I was in before the operation.

    happy New Year to you and best wishes for a better recovery.  I think we're doing well.

    Sue xx

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for your comments they are very comforting! I work for the NHS and are pushing for me to go back and mentally I feel a great need! I'm 53 so quite young for the op so i was told although the only bonus to come out of this lol! I have got lots of holidays to take so I'm going to tag a couple more weeks on which will help! So God to relate to someone who understands
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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie, paracetamol is fine if you have a headache!! Your nerves are beginning to knit together, as well as everything else. As much as you may feel against stronger meds you really do need to take something. Please forget all the stories of side effects you may have read or heard. Taking them to keep your pain at bay is the lesser of 2 evils. The less you sleep, the less you are able to cope with the pain, the harder it is to focus on any impressions of getting better. Speak to your doctor, if he/she is approachable, ask them to give you something other than Tramadol. There are quite a few options out there; it is a matter of finding one to suit you personally, if one does not agree with you, go back and try something else. Once your pain is under control, you will be able to relax, be able to sleep for longer periods of time. When you go back to work, make sure you have something to rest your leg on (if you are sitting). You may feel ok, but you will feel better with your leg straight as opposed to bent.

    All the best

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  • Posted

    A knee needs at least a 95 degree of bend in order to painlessly navigate stairs going down.There's a lesser degree of bend necessary to step up. It's possible that if you aren't able to get that much bend after 11 weeks then you might have developed adhesions. Surgical adhesions are the result of abnormal wound healing between adjacent tissues following a surgical procedure. Because of the surgical trauma, the body initiates a complex inflammatory response in which tissues that normally remain separated in the body become physically attached to each other. Surgical adhesions are usually the cause of dysfunction and pain and the leading cause of failed knee replacements.

    Adhesions that begin to form almost immediately post-op are usually manipulated during physiotherapy. I had six weeks of excrutiating pain during therapy when they tried to manipulate my flexion and couldn't. After seven weeks, I was admitted to the hospital and put under anesthesia in order for the surgeon to manipulate and break those adhesions. He said that the noise when they break is similar to small tree branches breaking. I was able to go to physical therapy that same day and get the 100 degrees of flex and able to go down stairs normally. Consider going back to your surgeon to have this procedure. If scar tissue buildup has caused your knee the inability to bend beyond 95 degrees then it will not go away without manual manipulation under anesthesia.

    Good luck to you.

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  • Posted

    Yes jackie. I had TKR 3 and a half years ago and remember being like you at your stage.

    These are still early days for you. When I had TKR someone told me it would be about a year before I really felt the benefit and I reckon that was about right.

    Sorry if that sounds a long time but it is better to know and be realistic about it.

    Keep the exercises up.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Sarah

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    • Posted

      Thankyou it's amazing how we all mend at different stages. I'll get there I'm sure but yes a year is a long time and was mentioned by the surgeon I must be one of the long termers lol
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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie

    I was post op 12 weeks yesterday for PKR. I can go upstairs normally but still come down one at a time.  I still get disturbed nights either from op knee or other knee( waiting for other knee replacement

    I return to work for the NHS next week. 3 half days at first, then five half days.  3rd week back to normal hours.  Hope your recovery goes well. Happy New Year.

    Tracy

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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie, I am 4 weeks post TKR on the left knee.  Had my first outpatient therapy Tuesday.  I got to 115 deg of flexion, then did 10 minutes on the stationary bike and did 30 reps of 105 pounds on the leg press.  Therapist says I am doing really well for 4 weeks.  Point is, I am not yet comfortable with going downstairs other than one at a time.  I can do upstairs stair over stair as long as I use the cane.  I have not yet slept through the night, usually get up at 3:00am to take a pain pill.  Knee gets pretty fatigued in the evening so that's a good time to ice it up and rest.  Everyone is different but I think you're making really good progress!  Keep it up!  By the way, I am 59 yrs old.
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    • Posted

      Thankyou for that but my physio discharged me after 3 sessions as I was doing all the exercises but do feel now I'm missing out maybe I should go back to them not been near a bike so wonder if that would help?
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    • Posted

      Three sessions is not nearly enough physiotherapy. Not only does the knee need the rehabilitation for flexion and extension, the muscles need strenghtening and tendons need stretching. I've been going to therapy for 9 weeks already, three times a week.
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    • Posted

      I'm in Connecticut in the USA. It seems that there's less importance placed on physical therapy in other countries and here it's very important. I know that I would have been discharged from therapy anywhere else because I have good flexion and extension and I can easily walk up and down stairs. My therapy has been cut down to two days a week, an hour each day but it's focused on strenghtening. Insurance covers most of the cost of each session but I still have a $40 co-pay as an outpatient and that gets expensive. Insurance paid 100% of my 3 day a week physical therapy immediately following hosital dischage. The therapist came to my house 3 days a week and I had no copay.
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