Physical Therapy

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Ok, looks like I am through PT as insurance has run out. My concern is I never got passed 125 and haven’t hit that consistently. Also, I feel I have made progress in movement and bend even though PT kept saying numbers were closer now to 120. I have a hard time believing I am always at that measurement there when my tape marks on floor show improvement. So frustrating. 

So now I will continue on my own of course but just wish I didnt have this feeling of sadness not reaching 130 or 135 sad it’s been a long tiring time doing PT so part of me is relieved because emotionally it was very difficult to carry on through it. Almost 5 months post op. I do stairs, down still needs improvement, walk well unassisted, and am going to gym to strengthen muscles. Of course will continue with weights on knee to straighten (which PT) measured maybe 3 -4 times total in the months going and those beloved heel slides of course. lol 

Hopefully, there is still time and room for me to progress since PT only was able to help somewhat. 

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  • Posted

    125 is awesome! You can keep working on your own by doing the bicycle or working in a pool. Good job so far! It will just keep getting better.
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  • Posted

    125 is find don't beat yourself up it will improve after 5 months . I was at 120 then now at125 so pretty happy. If you can do what you need to that's fine. My surgeon said anything above 120 is good. Dont up.on 130 if you reach it excellent. Keep up the exercise it will improve.

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    • Posted

      Thanks! It all on me now so I need to get on with it and try to remain positive as I continue on with exercises. It’s gotten slowly better over time so just hope it continues. I had the hardest time with swelling and I do feel that’s contributed to the delay in ROM. Still have some swelling issues but hopefully that too just continues to improve. Thanks so much smile
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  • Posted

    Sounds like to me you are doing great and don’t need anymore PT you seem disciplined and have a great routine going for you , head up , you will get there 
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  • Posted

    Don't give yourself a hard time. Easily up to an year things improve. They will without you even thinking about it or doing anything now those early months aare over.

    The main thing is that especially six months onwards, you will be living an active and mobile life! That's the thing to focus on, not numbers.

    Even strength gradually improves. I stopped my quad strengthening exercises at six months but continue with the daily exercises I used to do, which include yoga, swimming three times a week and static exercise bike for half an hour each day plus regular walking.

    After this challenging experience of diminished mobility and pain, my main focus now is to do what i can to keep healthy, fit, and not to gain weight so that my knee lasts as long as it can, plus the other one doesn't get worse!

    Move your focus now away from your knee as much as you can and start tonreap the benefits of it.

    Good wishes! Happy New year!

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much! I was really sad over the numbers but will be determined to keep going. I am still getting tired quickly which is frustrating but I imagine that will improve too. I also went to work today (teaching) and knee feels a bit bothered not sure why as it did really well traveling overnight Christmas break. Sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the discomfort it brings. 

      I hope you continued success with your journey as well! It sounds as though it is with your exercise routine. The fact you are doing yoga is impressive. I know that requires a lot of bending so kudos to you. Maybe one day I can do that too. smile really appreciate the upbeat encouragement. Best wishes

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    • Posted

      Thank you robin, and glad it helps!

      Yes, I love the yoga! I adapt it and it is a gentle style, but it keeps the muscles nice and strong and stretched!

      The tiredness is difficult, especially when you need to get on with more things!

      I am now 9 months post op and have all my energy back. So much, that it was interesting recently, as I had a three day stint of very late night's working on a design, and I am not good with late night's normally. After midnight is normally not something I do!

      However, after my TKR experience of tiredness, when I compared how I felt after the late night working stint with how I felt in the first six months after TKR (and especially the first 4) it was nothing! It didn't even touch on the kind of full body exhaustion which recovery from a major operation entails.

      So it doesn't last for ever, even if it feels like it does. It is hard to pace things but I guess just try and put as many things which need doing on hold for later and deal only with the essentials.

      Blessings!

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    • Posted

      This gives me further hope. Thanks for sharing your experience. I am not use to being so tired just trying to exercise like I use too. It’s very tough right now. But I will take your advice and only do essentials for now and continue to try and build endurance. Did a few straightening exercises and leg felt better afterwards not during lol. That was a good surprise
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  • Posted

    Hi can you please help me unterstand everykne keeps mentioning numbers ie

    100 125 what are these numbers and how do you judge them i’m assuming it is relating to the bend in the knee.

    Please let me know

    I am 4 weeks post op TKR

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    • Posted

      Hi Julie yes it’s the knee bend degrees. It’s a measurement taken at physical therapy. I have had a hard time gaining momentum in this area but wil just keep at through exercises. They also measure how flat you can get your leg. My PT wasn’t so concerned with this as I thought they might be they focused a lot on bend. But getting leg flat is important to as well as getting legs straight. It sounds overwhelmingly just thinking about it so just concentrate on one day at a time. I hope you are doing well in your recovery. It gets better as time goes on.smile
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  • Posted

    I'm wondering who told you that 130-135 was an absolute necessity. 120 is great, 125 better. You will continue to improve but don't beat up on yourself if you aren't achieving a goal that a therapist established.

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    • Posted

      Thanks! Ya my pt was t real happy with my numbers being low but I do know I have made progress. It was very mentally and physically challenging doing PT but toward the end it was all emotional almost freaked out. So it’s probably a good thing I don’t go now because I don’t have that mental block to face each week. Thanks so much for your support smile
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    • Posted

      Funny you should say that a doctor friend was surprised pt focused on bend more than straightening as he felt that was more important. He is an ortho doc. Thanks will put the weights on soon tonight lol
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    • Posted

      It is strange that your therapist ignored extention and gave you such a hefty goal of 130 to try and reach. My first post op visit my surgeon was not happy at all with my extension and it was obvious he was much more concerned with that over flexion.

      I am 7 weeks post op now and 6 weeks pt. My second post op was monday and my extension was at 3 and flexion 115. My dr was very approving and now my therapist has decided that I will only require one more visit.

      Like you I will continue to work on doing all my exercises and riding the bike every day. Hopefully I will continue to improve and I have no reason to believe otherwise.

      I just don't believe you should get hung up on a particular number. Just focus on getting to where it feels as natural as it used to.

      By the way my therapist measured me at 9 and 120 the day before I went to see the surgeon. Just think if you had 5 people measure your knee you would likely get 5 different results.

      Hope you have continued success in your recovery but it sounds like you are well on your way.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for reply. Today would have been a PT for me and it felt freeing not going where I can’t take the advice of so many on here and just truly concentrate on recovery not numbers. I am working harder on straightening  now and strengthening muscles. Still of course doing heel slides. 

      I am happy you are doing well too. I wish you continued success smile I am so grateful for everyone’s insightful comments like yours. 

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    • Posted

      I see we are both still captives to our new knee. Still sleeping only a few hours at a time and then up icing the knee again lol. If your like me you can see improvements but so ready to get back to a semi-normal life. It's nice to have someone to talk to in the middle of the night guess misery really does love company.

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    • Posted

      Robin, in case you haven't read the comments regarding my situation I'll bore you enough to induce so we. In 2002 my knee suddenly (within 3 hours) became extremely swollen and went beyond to 10 pain rating. That night I went to ER and just wound up with pain pills and an ice bag plus an early appt with my ortho. Fast forward a few days, I was bleeding internally and my thigh was turning black and blue. Docs has no idea the cause. A few weeks later, surgery and removal if 200cc of blood (amt of soda can), in two weeks same thing and a month later a repeat. In the meantime I'm seeing every Dr imaginable and having $$$$$$$$ of tests and having period drawing of the joint with 65 to 75cc of blood taken each time. Finally an ortho oncologist at the university med center says I have PVNS, a rare benign tumor. 30 rounds of radiation and 6 months later a synovectomy where I find they can't get all of the tumor as I might lose the leg. 1 year later the tkr. Still in 6-8 pain level because of all the nerve& tissue damage. 9 years later the tumor has done its dirty work again and the stem of the prosthesis has broken loose creating the need for a revision. Every time I would move my leg a certain way the stem would hit a nerve sending me in orbit. It happened on a couple plane trips and I thought I was going to beat the plane to the destination. 5 years ago next week I had the revision with a different style appliance. Day two, being the old vet at this leg stuff I was trying to get a pair of undershirts on and fell twisinhting my femur into at a 20° angle. Next Day a hip to knee plate was inserted with 8 screws holding it in place. ( won't go into the gory details of how the put the plate in but it was next to the bone. So you can figure that out). Recovery was great and by June I was hitting chip shots with my wedge in the back yard. By fall the plate had turned on the inside of my knee till it was bright red so the doc decided it could come out as the bone was healed. Late October the plate was removed and another short healing process was underway when it all went straight to he** in a handbasket. I awoke from a nap with my bandage and sweatpants completely soaked in blood and other nasty fluids, I was sick to my stomach and running a fever (this was the day before thanksgiving). The day after the holiday I went to ER early and the testing began. Around 4 in the afternoon they came in and told me I had a staph infection and would be having surgery the next day. Sat morning they opened me up and flushed the area with antibiotics, put in sPICY line and thus started 8 weeks, twice a day antibiotic infusions. Now to compound things, my wife's Parkinson's disease had taken a serious turn for the worse and I have become a full time caregiver. She can't drive, on a walker and starting towards dementia and can't handle her own meds any longer. Things go pretty good till Nov and I wasn't paying much attention my my own health because her condition required more of my time and energy. I wound up with a UTI, passed out from dehydratiin, went head 1st into the hardwood floor, splitting my head open AND not only did I split my head open but landed on both knees. Three months later the pain was terrible in the knee so back to the ortho, then to the infectious disease doc and almost immediately, back to surgery. The staph was back. This time the entire prosthesis was removed and again the area flushed an antibiotic spacer inserted, the PICC line reinserted and the antibiotic infusion started for 8 weeks, twice a day. A hip to ankle wrap was put on as was a soft cast.no bending and toe touch was all that was allowed. 4 months later they put in the 3rd prosthesis and for the 5th time I was going through PT and rehab. This time, after almost 5 months, I was at exactly 0 for straight. Of course my bend was about 30. After several months of PT I got to 117 and everyone was ecstatic. My surgeon was hoping for 110.. 21/2 yrs later I am still at 0 and 115. Pain, sure I have pain. My doc says I'll always have it with all the whacking, slicing and dicing. The tumor, I still have it and I'm assuming its doing some dirty work somewhere. They can't get it all because it sits in a cluster of nerves and I could lose my leg. This started whenever wasv65 and I turn 81 next month. My wife, much worse. She spent almost 2 months in the hospital and rehab units starting about 10 days before thanksgiving. She came home Christmas eve and back in the hospital a few days after Christmas with some sort of heart flare up but even with a heart Cath they found nothing. She spends much of her time in bed. Right now we just know there is an unhappy ending but try not to think about it any more than we have to. Worry to bore you but sometimes this forum can be a cathartic for the brain as well as the body.

      Bestvwhises for a continued recovery.

      BTW. I'm in the Kansas City metro area.

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    • Posted

      You are an immensely brave strong individual! So many couldn’t have made it through that horrendous ordeal. I pray that tumor has settled down forever. It’s done enough damage. I appreciate so much your sharing you’re situation it’s good to know the stories behind our names. Yours is remarkable and inspirational that we can follow your example and do hard things when we need to. 

      I am so sorry to hear of your wife’s illness. It’s a tough situation especially with your health not being as prestine as one would like having to be a care giver. I have a cousin who has this illness and his wife retire do this last to help him out more. Do you have someone who can come and check in and help you guys out? If not some assistance would be a good thing. 

      I am glad you post so much on this forum. smile you’re information like Chico’s as well is very helpful and wise. 

      I have begun working on straightening leg out which has led to a lot of pain. I am hoping this is normal. Almost took pain pill last night which I haven’t needed since Oct. but choose just to lose the sleep and stick with otc stuff. Didn’t help a lot. 

      Thank you again for your story and let’s hope it gets better & steady! Wishing you and your wife all the best :D

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    • Posted

      O M G this is a lot for one couple to deal with... WOW , I am so sorry and will continue to pray for you and your wife. You have been through more than anyone I have ever known and for you to continue to get on here and give us advice is selfless and amazing, god bless you . I honestly dont think I could have gotten passed my dark days without you ad Chicos help and advice. Bless you my friend, your new VA friend smile 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the support. It is greatly appreciated. Every morning I give thanks I'm still around and able t o cope. Some days are a little more difficult than others but we continue to survive. One day My wife told me I should get together with my old bunch and go have a beer. I reminded her most of them were dead or in nursing homes and the others can't see to drive at night anymore. So I continue to count my blessings.

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