Knee replacement setback

Posted , 13 users are following.

I had TKR on 12/18/17. While very challenging at first, I recovered very well (so they tell me) and returned to work at 6 weeks out. I gradually stopped pain meds and only used Tylenol except for the occasional norco here and there. THEN...I had a conference that I attended last week. There was a lot of walking and a few flights of stairs here and there. I didn’t feel like it was terribly bad at the time, but by day 4 the pain increased quickly and with vengeance. I went to my Dr when I returned and he drained 60 cc of fluid and gave a shot of lidocaine. That helped that day but back bad as ever now. I’m a 58 year old female. Has anyone experienced a setback such as this?  I am in so much pain and now emotionally spent as well. I could just curl up and cry and would if it may help!  Any suggestions?  I continue with ice and rest but no luck. 

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  • Posted

    The fact you went back to work after 6 weeks that is amazing but considering how much pain your in my best guess you did way too much. A tkr is not a minor surgery and it takes time for everything to heal. By pushing it like you did its kind of no wonder it hurts. Not trying to make you feel bad but I know in my situation if I over do it I pay for it but I do not continue to push once I reach the agony point. I would hope your taking it easy and using an ice wrap to calm things down. As many have said including me the key word is patience. Most but not all are feeling better at 6 months but that is not set in stone every one is different.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response. Yes...I am using ice and have a “polar pack” that is a ice wrap/circulation device. Can’t tell it is any better at all, but only been 2 days. It didn’t take 2 days to make it hurt this bad, but I guess that is payback. I’m hoping a weekend of rest and elevation will help. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Vickie you are not alone. I had my TKR on 9.1.18 went back to work at 4 weeks post op. I was doing really well; started doing more, 10 weeks post op had fluid from above knee to toes. I was on annual leave. Physio put me on enforced rest and ice. Did well stopped pain killers then my body decided enough; I went down with a deep lung infection and chest infection tucked up in bed for 5 days couldn’t move as couldn’t breathe. Knee much better due to total rest and ice. 

    If you read CHICO’s posts he will advise it is a journey 2 steps forward, 4 back. You will get there but listen to your body. 

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    • Posted

      Oh my!  I don’t think I could physically or mentally handle another condition of any kind right now!  At least you’ll get rest but not a good way to get it. Hope you fully recover soon!
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    • Posted

      Eight months into my knee recovery, I got stenosis (think sciatica down BOTH legs) at L2/L3.  Brought my exercise program almost to a halt.  Four months later (one year post-TKR), I had a spine fusion followed by a wrist repair last November followed by a 3 1/2-hour spinal laminectomy this past January.  Four ops in 22 months.  You want my life?  I didn't think so......

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    • Posted

      I wasn’t thinking I was worse than anyone else CHICO or feeling sorry for myself. I do not think I have it worse than anyone else and fully appreciate that there are many much worse off than me.  I was merely pointing out that had I not gone back to work much too early; then I maybe wouldn’t have been as ill as I have been. Sadly I had no option. 

      I can see you have had so much. But in all of our lives we have crosses to bare and mountains to climb, some more than others. I am a single Mum of four young adults, 3 of who I keep and my young Grandson. I had no option but to go back to work or I wouldn’t have been paid. I fostered children for over 13 years following my divorce 24 yrs ago; went on to adopt two of my foster children. No I don’t want a medal just acknowledgement that everyone’s circumstances are different. I got a degree in my 50s and I am a Social Worker to severely traumatised children; my knee damage was due to  an accident at work; social worker to youths in prison. Some of us do not have the option of taking time for the recovery that we should have. I appreciate and respect your knowledge and advise in your posts but please remain mindful that we do not all have the luxury of allowing ourselves the recovery that we should have. 

      Respectfully. 

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    • Posted

      It must be really tough for you...been through so much...and have given of yourself even more.  Remember that you a Warrior and that means a lot.  You have the soul and the strength to deal with everything life and The Universe throws at you...just sometimes you have to do it a little slower.  You may have to be back at work but you can also pace yourself.  Don't take on more than you have to...prioritize when necessary.  You cannot allow yourself to burn out!  One day at a time...one step at a time...

      I'm 70 and my wife of 8 years was a psychiatric nurse for 30, dealing with the worst of the worst in state mental hospitals.  These people were so special to her and she did her job with a joyous heart.  We were married only six months when the docs found her brain aneurysm by mistake...should have killed her.  Instead, she's here but had to retire due to memory problems and right side weakness from two strokes as well.  I have been and always will be her caregiver.  We take it day by day, step by step.  Oh...plus I still work full time...luckily in a telecommuting IT job from home.

      We walk the path we're intended to walk.  Walk it in light, not in shadow.  Be good to yourself and everyone near you.  Be one with all living things.  Feel the energy all around you.  Time will pass and you will feel better...just give it time.  At 2 years post-op, I can tell you that the struggle is worth it in the end.  Promise.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind comments. Your dear wife bless her; thoughts are with you both. I do give too much of myself but like your wife did, in certain professions it is hard not too. I find this site very supportive for which I am grateful. 
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  • Posted

    I must admit Chic has everything all written out and its great all the info I have is from personal experience. I am well aware that you need to stay active but there is a time when you have realize you have gone too far. At least your working I have been on disability due to my knee issues. I have a small yard typical of what you find in most older subdivisions if I cut front and back without taking a break I am shot for the rest of the day. If I walk too far or if I go shopping where my daughter is having fun I am in agony. You really should be happy your back at work but you have to understand you can only do so much other wise you are miserable.This part is hard for me so I do understand if the weather is nice who wants to do nothing right?? I love being outside but if I were you really try and take it easy. Read a book sit outside enjoy the weather hopefully by Monday you will be feeling better but do not over do it again. I still think your doing great just give your knee time to heal. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks!  It’s so frustrating!  Didn’t seem like it took much at all to set me back!  And with the level of pain I’m at now....it looks like it is going to take much longer to recover than it did to set back.   Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of choice but to go back work. I’m really hoping a couple days total rest will help sad
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    • Posted

      Being payed up is never a nice experience. I’m thankful to the trained people - surgeons and nurses - who do such a great job. There are always those so much worse off than any of us still equipped to contribute to these posts.
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  • Posted

    Advances, setbacks, plateaus...all part of the game.  

    IMHO, going back to work at 6 weeks put way too much strain on the knee.  At that point, it has barely started healing.  You have to remember that the surrounding musculature (quads, glutes and core) have all atrophied over those six weeks so all the pressure is put on the new knee.  That's why you first get your ROM back and then you take the time to rebuild all those muscles.

    Sounds like you haven't done that hence the knee pain.  Most people return to work in 4-6 months; those who try at 3 months (12 weeks) usually encounter a lot of swelling, pain, etc. even at desk jobs.  I've read over 4,000 posts on here; I could count on less than one hand the number of people who had any fraction of success at six weeks.  It just doesn't happen.  You may be one of the exceptions but it sounds like you now hit a wall.  Your knee is screaming at you...don't ignore it.

    Back off, ice, elevate.  You may consider taking more time off.  You definitely have to rebuild those muscles...no question about that piece...

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/post-tkr-exercising-565527

    Can't ignore the swelling and pain.  The knee will rule your life for a while; a full recovery typically takes a year.  

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